U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he will stop sending funds to the World Health Organization (WHO) due to its bias toward China during the COVID-19 outbreak. America is the largest single funder of WHO, donating over US$400 million for the 2018-2019 period, accounting for almost 15 percent of the WHO’s budget. In contrast, China only gave US$86 million to the organization during this time.
“Had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out China’s lack of transparency, the outbreak could have been contained at its source with very little death… This would have saved thousands of lives and avoided worldwide economic damage. Instead, the WHO willingly took China’s assurances to face value… and defended the actions of the Chinese government,” Trump said, as reported by the BBC.
President Trump pointed out that the U.S. review of the WHO will probably take place within 60 to 90 days. In the meantime, the administration will discuss the issue with allies and other global health partners in order to determine how best to utilize funds that were reserved for the organization. Since taking office, Trump has pulled America out of other bodies and agencies under the control of the United Nations, including the UN Human Rights Council and UNESCO, since he believes that they have been squandering funds, turning political, and not working in line with their purposes.
Many people have criticized Trump’s decision, with the UN Chief claiming that this is not the time for such an action. Critics point out that cutting funds will only lead to further loss of American influence in the WHO. However, these arguments pale when considering actual facts and figures. The WHO has been sticking with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ever since the coronavirus outbreak began, covering up the Chinese government’s mismanagement and leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands around the world.
If the U.S. cannot even get the WHO to prioritize the safety of its citizens despite contributing almost 5 times as many funds as the Chinese during 2018-2019, America has every right to pull out its money. The US$450 million could have been spent better, say, by setting up covert units inside China to monitor and report the CCP virus outbreak. At least the U.S. government would have received a true report of the coronavirus situation early on rather than being fed with false assurances by a biased WHO. Suffering losses due to the COVID-19 outbreak, several U.S. businesses and organizations have filed lawsuits against the Chinese government to the tune of trillions of dollars.
Bias toward China
On January 15, an infected person took a flight from Wuhan to Seattle, triggering the CCP virus outbreak in the U.S. Just a day before, the WHO denied on Twitter that the virus was spreading in China through human-to-human transmission, stating that they had “found no clear evidence.” This is surprising since Taiwan had already alerted the organization on December 31 of a virus spreading in the mainland that could potentially be transmitted from one person to another. But since the WHO refuses to admit Taiwan as a member due to Chinese pressure, the organization dismissed such reports.
The WHO didn’t get its team into Wuhan until January 20, and that was just for a “brief field visit.” Only then did China confirm the human-to-human transmission of the virus. On January 28, the Director of WHO, Tedros Adhanom, asked countries to remain calm and expressed his support for the CCP. This again was surprising since the WHO had yet to provide verified statistics about the virus in China. The only numbers being reported were those given by the Chinese government, which is notorious for faking data to fit its agenda.
A few days later on Feb 3, Adhanom went even further in his zeal to support Beijing, stating that travel bans were unnecessary. The WHO only declared the CCP virus a pandemic on March 11, when the Chinese government was reporting that the outbreak had stabilized. By then, the virus had already spread to every major country on earth. These actions are not in line with an entity tasked with protecting “world health.” It is, as President Trump stated, an utter failure of the WHO. To continue funding such an organization would be a slap in the face of American citizens, and global citizens that look up to America, especially during such difficult times.